While most ads for skin care, hair products, beauty products, perfumes, clothing, and the list goes on and on, bombard young girls and women with images of what a “beautiful woman” should look like, Dove’s Self-Esteem Fund is working hard to dispel these expectations of unattainable standards.
Mental health disorders are at epidemic proportions in our society, with young people aged 15-24 having the highest rate of mental health episodes, and low self-esteem is a huge contributor. Body image has a direct impact on self-esteem - if you hate your body, it affects you physically, emotionally, and mentally.
As a society, we have been socialized to place “beauty” (as defined by the media) among one of our highest priorities. And we have become perfectionists, never feeling quite good enough, needing to lose more and more weight, even if it means starving ourselves or throwing meals up, increasing our breast size or our lip size, or changing the entire structure of our face.
Focusing on this ever-growing social problem of low self-esteem that impacts so many of us, Dove is aiming to promote social change with their Campaign For Real Beauty. The campaign aims to dispel the myths of “falsely created beauty” through the use of airbrushing in advertising and to create a cultural counter effect of the unrealistic expectations the media has set up for girls and women. While we still have a long way to go as a society in undoing the harm that the image of the “ideal woman” has created, this campaign is a great start to switching the direction of our beliefs!